Free Mobile Outreach Program Developed and Launched by Homefirst
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 • 12:02pm
A mother with a special needs child seeks educational support for her son. A young working father aims to attain a full-time job to support his family. A lifetime career woman who was just laid off desperately needs help to modify and pay her mortgage. Where did these three people find help and support? Homefirst’s Family Support and Prevention Team (FSP), which provides support services for families living in Union County.
The Homefirst’s Family Support and Prevention Team’s Director, Zakkiyyah Sally, holds a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership with credentials and training in Family Development. Ms. Sally has more than 10 years of experience managing social service and educational programs, educating communities on prevention services, and advocating for children and families. “Ms. Sally recently joined Homefirst and leads a team of four Family Support Partners who provide one-on-one support to families through goal planning based on strengths and needs assessment”, said Ellen McGovern, Executive Director of Homefirst. “This is the next step in building capacity for family strengthening and having a mobile team means Homefirst’s staff can quickly respond and meet people when and where they need the assistance.” Many families, in collaboration with their Family Support Partner, attend weekly individual meetings, community support groups and life skills workshops in order to increase in self-sufficiency, personal and professional skills and to achieve ultimate success.
Since the launch of the FSP Initiative by Homefirst in early October, Ms. Sally’s team has touched over 200 families from Union, Hillside, Plainfield and Rahway through a series of outreach events, both alone and in partnership with organizations including the Family Support Organization of Union County, the Salvation Army of Plainfield, Agape Church in Rahway, the Health Department in Hillside, Connecticut Farms Church in Union Township and a variety of other locations throughout Union County.
Through the efforts of her team, Homefirst will soon be approved as a True Grant Host Site for Union County, a Food Stamp Outreach Site, and provide application assistance for both NJ Shares and NJ Family Care. In early 2013, families within the targeted areas of Hillside, Rahway, and Union will be able to attend a four-part family budgeting workshop, just one more step in helping families gain the tools to develop personal budgets and increase their financial literacy.
** Homefirst delivers comprehensive solutions to homelessness by providing transitional and permanent housing, homeless prevention assistance and family support services to strengthen families and build communities.